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Tips for Getting that Tricky Bit Written

Sometimes writing seems to call me insistently, so that I can hardly wait to finish my chores and get stuck in.  At other times I find myself doing all sorts of other jobs when I should be writing; things that could easily wait until another time.  For me, this has a great deal to doing with self-esteem or fear of some sort.  If I’ve reached a point in my work in progress that I don’t feel ready to tackle, or that I don’t think I can do justice to, I’ll find reasons not to work on it.  Unfortunately, this can become a vicious cycle, as I can then cite how long it took me to write this type of scene as evidence that I’m no good at it, and this then fuels my low self-esteem the next time I need to write something in the same vein.

Today I want to share with you some of the strategies I have developed to work past this fear of writing something, in case I can’t write it well enough. Read more

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Cafés for Writers

On the whole, I have found that cafés are surprisingly welcoming to writers.  I had not expected us to be greatly appreciated: we take up space for an hour or several, and often only buy one or two drinks.  Indeed, there have been establishments where I have felt hassled, where staff have come over every ten minutes to ask if they can get me anything else, or have sighed and frowned each time that they pass my table.  But there are far more places where I am left alone to get on with my work, whether I end up ordering more or not. Read more

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Writer’s Guilt

Should a writer write every day?  Did we ought to follow a prescribed plan?  Can we only consider ourselves writers if we write full-time?

It seems counter-intuitive to associate words like “must”, “got to”, and “ought to” with writing.  These words, in my mind, are usually paired with all sorts of things that are good for you, but not enjoyable, like brushing your teeth, cleaning the loo, and paying the bills.  Read more

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Sociable Writing

I don’t suppose that any writing advice is universally applicable, but finding some way of connecting with others seems pretty important to me.  Writing is, on the whole, a very solitary activity, so belonging to some sort of group adds a dimension to your ways of working.   If you are not sure which would be worse: to expose yourself to the comments others might make about your work, or to exercise your creative skills in finding something vaguely pleasant and approximately truthful about that of other people, then fear not – there are many different ways of being part of a writing community, and there may well be one that suits your preferences better. Read more

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Brightly Shines the Darkness

The first book in the Skywatchers series is now available for Kindle;  see http://www.amazon.co.uk/Brightly-Shines-Darkness-Skywatchers-ebook/dp/B00AI1AMI6/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1354695773&sr=8-1

New Skills for Old Writers

The trouble with deciding to self-publish a book is that it can load you up with a whole load of tasks that are not writing, and which are well outside my natural comfort zone.
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My Writing Life

I’m certainly not one of those writers who always knew that this was the career for them, who had six novels in their desk drawer by the age of ten, who wrote for their infants’ school newspaper, or had winning stories in junior magazines.  Writing was something I did as and when necessary:  essays for my studies, reports and manuals for work, letters to absent family members and shopping lists were the limit of my not so creative writing endeavours.  So what changed?

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